- How to improve your company's HSE Culture?
- When and how to communicate your HSE vision in a compelling manner?
- How to setup a guiding team that helps implementing the HSE strategy?
- How to organise for early successes?
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR COMPANY'S HSE CULTURE?
We have a great Safety Management System, up-to-date Safety Cases, excellent procedures and standards, intelligent, motivated and experienced people, comprehensive training matrices and the best tools available on the market. Still we experience incidents. Why…?
Why is our HSE culture not improving fast enough?
1. A lack of Urgency
Of all issues lying on the desk of each Team Leader – business goals, budget constraints, corporate stipulations, stakeholder requirements, and contract portfolio - safety statistics appear to be pretty good (occasionally felt acceptable to a lot of leaders). So is there a need to spent even more valuable time to fight the last remaining incidents.
2. Not the right people engaged
Who is guiding the journey towards the vision? Champions, Steering committee, Councils. Your internal and external advisors.
3. Unclear dreams
What is your HSE Vision? Is it clear, unambiguous? Is it inspiring, compelling, convincing enough? How does it differentiate from your competitors’ vision? Does it create a passion among your leaders, your middle management, and your employees? Has it been checked with your contracted personnel?
4. Insufficient correspondence
Does anyone know what is expected to participate in the process? How are you going to realize the dream? Is there a strategy, a plan? Does everyone believe zero incidents can be sustained?
5. Too much top down solutions
There is too much thinking done on behalf of the workers. Let them, the true experts come up with ideas on how the job needs to be done. Let them work on the real issues. Engage and empower them to be creative and resilient. Have a truly Team Owned HSE Plan.
6. Not enough celebrations
There are always occurrences of success, but are they recognised sufficiently? Do you reward and praise those who experience early wins? Do you provide sufficient positive reinforcers, a pat on the shoulder, an article in your newsletter?
7. Being unaware of the relapse
Is the project closed too soon? Do you see a relapse to the old culture?
8. Making change stick
Do you have the tools and training to keep the organisation at the highest level once arrived?
What Cultural differences?
Beyond the historically HSE cultures – i.e. “Not caring” and “Managing by Fear” (of which remains maybe experienced within in our industry, but more regularly within other industries), there are 4 distinct cultures:
· Increased Awareness (Safety is important. We need to be better than the law prescribes. We may loose customers and contracts if our HSE performance is not improved).
· The System (The system rules. We have thought of everything. We have thousands of pages with safety rules, procedures and standards. We have comprehensive training matrices. We find it hard to think of anything more to do. And this is probably a correct assumption… We do what the boss wants.)
· The Individual (The system is not addressing the individual’s full personal needs. It is not giving him/her enough challenge. Self-initiative is taken. “I do it anyway, even if I have to pay for it myself. I want to be safe myself”.
· The Group (Be my brother’s keeper. I cannot do it alone. A weaker link in our group may harm us. Our group composition is continuously changing with new entrants and people leaving, so we need to be vigilant and coaching. We need to build a state of ‘mindfulness’ of attentiveness. Decisions need to be made at the front level. Workers need to be authorised to create and manage their own team budgets).
How to get there – The staircase
1. Know where you are
a. Conduct a cultural survey. What are your behavioural and cultural strengths and weaknesses?
b. Conduct a self-assessment. How do you as team leader behave? Are you as good as you think you are?
2. Setup a Leadership strategy Plan, based upon your dream and your present cultural characteristics. Develop a personal behavioural improvement plan.
3. Empower your workers and your (sub) contractors. Engage all key players: the real experts. Train them how to assess the real risks, how to think ‘out-of-the-box’ and be creative. Let them plan the hack out of things, but make them aware that no plan will ever be executed to perfection. Allow them to rework the plan.
4. Schedule celebrations and be prepared for disappointments.
5. Continuously measure and benchmark. Test your vision, particularly in crisis situations.
What’s holding you?
· Present organisational culture
· Lack of trust in the workforce, or outside contracted personnel.
· Personal leadership behaviour: You’re as good as it gets…
Changing your organisations’ HSE culture towards a state of mindfulness, a true group culture, which will get you your goal zero. We need to start thinking about being our 'brother's keeper' and realise that we never know enough, thus must move to a continuous learning habits.